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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Cisco CallManager Fundamentals: A Cisco AVVID Solution
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Chris Pearce, Anne Smith, Delon Whetten
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The most complete book on Cisco IP Telephony available.

CallManager Fundamentals is a detailed explanation of Cisco's IP Telephony implementation. It is a readable reference book and one that I use often. If I could only have one book on the subject this would be it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
understanding the design pattern tools is key...

First of all let me qualify my critique by saying that I use this book heavily and am grateful for it - every programmer should digest and drink in the material in this seminal and valuable book. However one must understand the boundaries of Design Patterns.
Object Oriented Programming has been the New Wave of the 80's and 90's.The initial rah-rah over encapsulation-inheritance-polymorphism faded when their benefits were hard to extract.The design patterns are one step above O-O. Heavily founded in the the main "tricks" behind the design patterns, are also the facets of O-O1. interface2. dynamic binding (or polymorphism)2. inheritance3. aggregation (or composition)
So in the future when there is the next new wave in software, I expect our paradigms to shift to something else. In short, it is a great book, but it is not in the same league as (say) a Mathematics book which will stay current for a very, very long time.
(As a Christian myself, I liked John Vlissides unashamed quotes from the Bible on the first pageJoshua 24:15 "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD")
How to read the book rapidly if you are a visually oriented person. I am a slow learner but was able to read this book in two hours:1. First, understand intimately how the four "tricks" work, mentioned above. 2. Do not read in serial fashion from page 1 till end. Instead look at the structure diagram for a design pattern; meditate on it until you are blocked whereupon read the text to find the answer.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Kip R. Irvine
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The mysteries of assembly language and PC architecture

I liked this book. I had to get it for my PC architecture class and was quite of an help!!It is well written and simple enough for novices to understand the basic of PC arch and assembly language.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I LOVE this book

This book is available, for free, from the author's website (www.bruceeckel.com); the book, however, is far easier to read in book form than your monitor or a foot-high stack of printouts.

What I love so much about this book is that Eckel doesn't so much tell you how to "go through the motions" of writing Java (like 99% of programming reference books), but instead goes into great detail about what the creators of the language were actually trying to accomplish, and why they did what they did. The net effect is that you are truly able to "think in Java" (corny, I know...).

For the same reasons, however, I wouldn't recommend this book to novice programmers. Many of the concepts covered (such as heap allocation, upcasting/downcasting, JavaDoc, etc...) go into some fairly abstract computer science ideas, and while this material is covered in an extremely easy-to-follow fashion, I think much of it will go over newbie heads.